Franklin Regional junior enjoying breakthrough season

Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Point guard Cooper Rankin saw limited varsity time last season as he played primarily on the junior varsity team at Franklin Regional.

What a difference a year can make.

All of a sudden, he is one of the go-to scorers for the varsity Panthers.

The breakthrough player of the year at midseason goes to …

The 6-foot floor leader can be seen bringing the ball up the floor, passing off and then getting it back for a quick basket.

“I was told over the summer I would have an opportunity to play more and have a bigger impact,” Rankin said. “I worked at my game so I could help the team more.”

Look no farther than his scoring average for proof of his spike: Last year, he averaged 2.1 points per game. This year, he’s up to 15.3 and leading the team.

Panthers coach Jesse Reed likes to call the top players he coaches and goes against “dogs” or “dudes.”

Rankin is somewhere between a dog and a dude.

“He slid right into the lineup for us,” Reed said. “When it was time for him to get minutes, he was ready.”

Reed said he likes the way Rankin tends to merge into the offense and find a flow.

Rankin has shown up in section games for the Panthers (9-5, 3-2), who were tied for second in Section 3-5A with Gateway.

When the Panthers defeated Latrobe, 52-39, he had 13 points. He had 18 in a 60-48 win over Penn-Trafford.

“It’s great to see his hard work translating during games,” Reed said. “That is what I am really proud of, is how he worked at his game.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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